Regional Winners - Innovation 4 Entrepreneurs

Regional Winners

 

 

Improved Employee Experience

  • AYG Garage Solutions

    Masroor Fatany
    Houston, TX

    This is how our employees use technology.

    We are the local franchise for Sears Garage Doors & Repairs in the Houston & San Antonio markets. We leverage technology on many different fronts and strive to be the leader in a mature industry. Our field technicians utilize tablets to write up invoices, obtain signatures, take pictures for site checks, and transmit data wirelessly to our home office for processing. By receiving the data instantly, our office can ensure that technicians are compensated correctly and that management can see real time data on sales and inventory usage instead of waiting 3-4 business days. Also, the technicians take pictures of the work site to ensure quality and reduce liability/cost for our company.

    In addition, technicians update us on their whereabouts using GPS and text us updates that all office staff can see on their computers using GVNotifier. Also, we use Comcast Business Class Internet to help connect our phones on a VOIP System, which allows our staff to work remotely if necessary. Customers are extremely impressed on how we use tablets in the field and how our technicians and office staff communicate with each other.

    We are also utilizing technology when it comes to video customer testimonials and asking customers to communicate via emails, texts, Google Plus, and Facebook.

    We strive to be leaders in our industry and technology helps use maintain that standard of business, especially since we visit over 1,000 homes per month.

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  • Bauer Graphics, Inc.

    Neal Bauer
    Lake Oswego, OR

    This is how our employees use technology.

    Bauer Graphics Creative Design Studio began as a children's software company back in the early 90's. Since 2003, we've amped up our reliance on technology to assist in everything from infrastructure to marketing to management and communication.

    As a design studio, we are responsible for producing video, graphics and other assets that breach 1GB on a regular basis. Working with Comcast, we have been secured a dedicated IP for our in house servers that allow artists to internally share large files between each other and the Creative Director as well as being able to post links for clients to pull final files down from our server (OTD). Since 2007, Bauer Graphics has been doing what Dropbox, Hightail, Google Drive and other services have just recently started providing and at zero cost to our customers.

    Additionally, we created our own proprietary estimating, project management and job ticketing system (BIG CAT) that allows us to create an estimate anywhere, anytime, and turn that estimate into a project with a printable job jacket to house all physical assets attached to a project.

    We could write pages on how we handle marketing but we've found a way to leverage technology to circumvent cold calling and Salesforce for generating warm leads

    Bauer Graphics began with two people and one client but has since grown to three offices, from Portland to Pittsburgh, that manage companies such as Amazon.com, Nike, the NBA, adidas and many more.

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    Beyond Computer Solutions, Inc.

    Chris Noles
    Austell, GA

    This is how our employees use technology.

    As a small business technology services company, our company's primary focus is to help our customers work from anywhere. We made the decision several years ago to set an example by running our business without an office space. We made this decision not only to cut costs, but to set an example for our clients to see that they are able to work the same way. Our entire business depends on Comcast High speed internet for our employees to be able to work from home. Our technology includes internet, Cloud VOIP telephone services, hosted email and hosted remote support tools. None of our technology requires us to have any personal or technology in 1 central location. We host company meetings by using special online meeting software that allows us to share video and collaborate on projects. During the recent snow storm, it was just another day for each of us to work from our individual home offices where we were still able to monitor customer computers and provide helpdesk services. We are also able to respond more quickly to our customer's needs for on-site services because each of us live in different locations in metro Atlanta allowing us to avoid most major traffic. We are helping the environment by eliminating trips to and from a central office. We are looking forward to rapid growth because we can expand to any major city simply by hiring a person to work from anywhere.

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  • CrossFit Tukwila

    Cameron Griffin
    Tukwila, WA

    This is how our employees use technology.

    When we come in every day the first thing to go on is our IPads, IPhones, and computers. We use screens for timing and also logging workouts. Without technology we would be completely debilitated. It helps to improve our workout organization, timing, and even view. With the release of the IPhone 5s we are able to capture client's movements in slow-motion. Being able to see movement broken down frame by frame really allows us to point out needed corrections in any given movement. We shoot the video over our wireless network on to big screens for our clients and coaches to view so we can critique any given movement. Before we implemented all these technological aspects to our coaching all we could do is use our words to best describe to our clients what they are doing properly or improperly. We've also begun to implement our own IPad based application for logging workouts and max lift progression. Designing new technology to improve our services is a must for us, our next goal is to work towards a sensory technology that sees body movement and stresses to we can record and ensure proper body movement in the gym.

    As we grow out our client base technology will assist the coaches on duty with logging workouts, correcting movement, and recording the entire workout for each athlete so we can improve deficiencies. The old technology of stopwatches and whiteboards will soon be a thing of the past at CrossFit Tukwila.

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  • Fish Property Management

    Jennifer Ruelens
    Williamsport, PA

    This is how our employees use technology.

    Our 1.5 year old business manages residential rental real estate for investors and our goal is to be an example of the gold standard in the use of technology for property management. Although we are a local company dealing only with property within 25 miles of our office, our operations are global with tenant prospects and clients all over the world. Our limitations include budget, small team size and need for mobility. We are using video marketing, online payments for tenants, real-time client online reporting, EFT disbursements to clients, cloud servers, Comcast Business Voice Edge, and online webinars for team training and client services. Most recently we have started to use technology to allow prospective tenants to tour properties without a leasing agent to avoid schedule conflicts and make it more convenient. Our clients and tenants benefit from speedy service that gets results. We recently moved into our own offices and the transition was scary as we faced a lot of decisions about how to meet our needs and what kind of technology was right for us. The solutions we found are flexible, affordable and above all, pay for themselves when the alternatives are considered.

    As we grow our business, technology allows us to leverage our people to have a bigger impact on managing and leasing property. We want to grow our team, but technology allows us to hire people who give us what technology can't- innovation, creativity and awesome personalities!

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  • Intelligent AV

    Michelle Rynbrandt
    Clio, MI

    This is how our employees use technology.

    Intelligent AV is a woman-owned small business that provides professional audio visual services to a wide range of clients. Our business may be small, but our reach is global enabled by the application of technology.

    Our customers demand close coordination and collaboration for their projects to be successful, so we put Comcast Business to work supporting video conferencing, Microsoft Lync, and other real-time unified communication and collaboration tools. We've found that holding virtual meetings allows us to meet with our clients more often and results in tighter integration of our final product. Customer response to this initiative has been phenomenal and we appreciate the reduced employee demands, cost, and environmental impact of travel.

    My husband and I are partners in this business, and prior to this venture he was significantly tied to his physical office over an hour away from home. When we started our business we didn't want to tie our employees to the office, so we applied technology to improve our company's work/life balance. Our implementation of VPN, remote desktop, and the collaboration tools mentioned above permits our employees to work anywhere at any time. This approach not only provides for happier employees (and their families) but also reduces the required size of our office, energy consumption, and other overhead costs.

    Later this year we plan to open a satellite office 800 miles from our main location. This exciting step will help us strengthen our virtual office concept by providing geographical redundancy of our technology systems.

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  • Neiswanger Management Services, LLC

    Mark Yost
    Hyattsville, MD

    This is how our employees use technology.

    We are a management company that specializes in providing leadership and management services to skilled nursing facilities. Currently, we manage 4 nursing homes in Maryland (Hyattsville, Annapolis, Silver Spring and Hagerstown).

    We were one of the first nursing homes in Maryland to go fully paperless with all our business functions, from electronic medical records to contract management. Our system improves our patients lives by permitting quicker and seamless electronic tracking of conditions by the entire interdisciplinary health team. By enabling real-time documentation, all health disciplines have access to the information 24/7 anywhere. Additionally, by streamlining work flows, more time can be devoted to patient care, instead of paperwork. Additionally, with seamless integration to our e-pharmacy which is located in each nursing home, prescriptions can be written electronically, and prescribed automatically, reducing prescribing errors to zero (normally around 5% medication errors is expected industry wide).

    Our early adoption and continual improvement of electronic systems has enabled us to provide better patient care, innovative solutions to care delivery and a better all-around experience for our customers, their families and friends. Additionally, technology has reduced our costs, enabled us to bring more functions in-house and better enabled us to support the large nursing facilities we manage.

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  • Old St. Mary's School

    Stephanie Froemming
    Chicago, IL

    This is how our employees use technology.

    As a school, we use technology every day in our classrooms. Teachers use interactive white boards to engage their students in lessons. They also download and stream video to introduce concepts and allow for reflection(see discovery education link). Teachers maintain blogs to support a home school connection and keep parents informed of what is going on in their classrooms (see link to tech blog). Weekly we stream a live broadcast from our OSM TV station, to report on current events in the school and in our local community. Students are not missing out on the technology action, students in preschool through 8th grade have access to iPads and laptop computers. Teachers use these tools integrated with their instruction to individualize learning for students. The students love playing interactive games while learning concepts and getting instruction that is tailored for them.This year we also began a 1 to 1 iPad initiative with our middle school students. These students are using Google Drive to make for more paperless classrooms. Using a program like Google Drive, teachers are able to give students immediate feedback on their work. Middle school students also use their iPads for creative projects such as making books for younger students, creating videos to share a concept with others, and composing songs in music class. Without technology our teachers and students would not be able to connect and learn in this connected world.

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    PhotoBert

    Bert Sirkin
    West Hartford, CT

    This is how our employees use technology.

    We host our own web server for our e-commerce web site using our Comcast Business account. Almost every part of our operation is automated using technology. We have 2 databases: one for our web server and one for our desktop processing application. We have three forms of sales: Web Sales to the end customer; vendor sales direct to retailers; and eBay sales. We connect to the following suppliers thru technology: UPC Barcoding, PayPal, UPS, Stamps.com, and eBay. Customers and suppliers are kept informed of every step of our operation thru technology automation, keeping our suppliers and customers happy, and we significantly reduce the chance of error through technology.

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  • PicturePoint On-line

    David Burckhard
    San Jose, CA

    This is how our employees use technology.

    Few businesses demand more from technology than video production does. On the set, my technology is contained within the cameras and recorders supporting the shoot. However, in post-production, I absolutely depend on the reliability and speed of my Comcast Internet service for a successful completion of the project.

    Editing requires pulling large files, measured in gigabytes, from the Web. During the cutting stage, nothing pounds a computer harder than video processing. Only the most powerful systems are suitable for the work. I use a cloud-based collaboration service to share video files with which clients and crew who, in individuals and in groups, suggest adjustments in real time. Finally, when the client approves the final cut, I distribute the large, HD video over the Internet to meet challenging client deadlines.

    Selecting technology to support video production is a matter of staying on top of ever-changing trends, assessing hardware and software, seeing through hype, keeping within budget and leveraging products and services fully. For example, the same tablet I use to show prospects examples of my work in the morning becomes my PowerPoint hardware to drive a projector at a business meeting that afternoon. The next day the tablet could serve as part of my teleprompter kit or as a wireless monitor that an art director can hold in one hand and assess the perspective from a camera across the room.

    Access to the latest technology and robust access to Internet resources is critical to my success.

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  • TaxOps

    Brian Amann
    Lakewood, CO

    This is how our employees use technology.

    TaxOps is a tax specialty provider delivering customized solutions to businesses. To drive employee efficiency, workplace flexibility and exceptional results, we invest heavily in designing proprietary solutions and developing relationships with leading third party providers to get the right technology tools in place. We have been recognized for our results and model alongside software, technology and other dynamic companies.

    We maintain a paperless, server-less, cloud-based environment supporting maximum workplace flexibility that our employees appreciate. TaxOps was named the nation's best small firm to work for by Accounting Today for 2012 and 2013. We have no set office hours; our employees work anytime, anywhere with secure access to our web-based tax processing platform through an online portal. The platform is scalable to workflow needs and seamlessly accessible remotely by multiple users.

    Employees also benefit from proprietary workbooks that enhance integration between financial reporting and tax compliance. Advanced software enables efficient workflow management, reduces human error and improves turnaround times. Data and applications are storaged on redundant, high-capacity cloud servers, reducing internal IT resource needs and costs. VOIP system technology provides remote conferencing and document review capabilities.

    We continuously monitor the marketplace for evolving technology tools with the potential to save time and improve efficiencies so our employees spend less time doing busy work and more time handling knowledge-based consulting issues. We plan to take our technology utilization to the next level by enabling workload shifting from the busiest times of year to the least busy.

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  • The Hub Bike Co-op

    Benjamin Tsai
    Minneapolis, MN

    This is how our employees use technology.

    The Hub Bike Co-op is a worker owned and democratically operated cooperative that operates 4 bike shops in Minneapolis, MN. We are a worker cooperative with up to 45 staff that collaborate and vote on new operational processes, policies and management decisions. Facilitating this level of interaction in a fast and effective way requires cloud-synced technology. With real-time sharing of information and editing capabilities, we have created pathways of communication that let us run our business and include everyone in the process.

    We have online policy creation, troubleshooting, and voting systems that allow all our staff to be a part of business planning without having to be at in-person meetings all the time. When a new idea is brought forth, it goes online for peer review using cloud applications and synced documents. By synchronizing all our documents online, comments and edits can be made without conflicted copies or lag time problems. Votes can be tabulated and recorded. Online tools are a great way to work through new ideas outside of the constraints of a typical 2 hour meeting. Meetings have a limited amount of time and only one person can talk at a time. Online, all staff can add ideas at anytime and at their own pace.

    We have built a successful business that has garnered local and national awards. We have done this using participatory processes to make sure all the best ideas are included in our business practices. Online, cloud-synced applications have helped make this possible.

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  • The Original Runner Company

    Julie Goldman
    Montclair, NJ

    This is how our employees use technology.

    It started with prospects on index cards in a pink leather box . . . that's how I launched The Original Runner Company. We create the world's 1st custom non-slip fabric aisle runners for weddings & special events. Now that we serve clients around the world, we use a CRM to manage client files, file sharing to foster internal collaboration, and web forms to collect the data we need to maximize our marketing automation. Our runners are hand painted but technology is ever-present in all aspects of my company significantly improving my employees work experience. From providing digital design proofs to our clients, offering e-sign documents to our vendors, and digital invoicing – we are tech savvy. All of this data is shared throughout our studio network and this allows my employees to jump into the production process at any point and have a full understanding of the client's order. It is an amazing mechanism for data sharing in the company and allows us to seamlessly move a project through our studio to completion without ever touching a paper file. Our marketing efforts use automation to nurture prospects that are in a long sales cycle (common in the wedding industry). This simple tool means that we don't need to manually follow-up with each inquiry but it appears that we do. Everyone at Original Runners is a necessary multi-tasker and technology makes us successful ever day.

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    The Sister Shop

    Lori Bolan
    North Logan, UT

    This is how our employees use technology.

    Without the internet, my small women's modest clothing store, The Sister Shop, would not be possible! When I first decided to open my store, I spent hours searching wholesale internet sites for merchandise to order. I found a company in Israel that manufactures most of the skirts I sell, a dress company in Arizona, many clothing companies around the country, especially California and New York. Access to all these companies would have been all but impossible just a few years ago. I spend hours each day updating our social media to keep in contact with our customers and searching my wholesale websites for new merchandise for my store. I love Comcast Internet. It is so fast and saves me lots of time in accessing the sites I need. The next step for my business is to start manufacturing my own line of clothing to meet my customer's needs. The manufacturer I found is in Mexico, so I will be in contact with them by email almost daily. Thanks for providing such great internet service that enables me to have and run my own business!

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  • Vintage Cigar Distributors of New England

    Taylor Hall
    Londonderry, NH

    This is how our employees use technology.

    Vintage Cigar Distributors of New England, a boutique cigar company based out of Londonderry, NH, is steeped in history, but forward thinking. Vintage's core cigar brand, 7-20-4, during its time period, was the largest cigar manufacturer in the United States. Kurt Kendall, an avid history buff and cigar store owner, decided to revive the brand. Once the blend was created, Kurt had to put in place the systems to facilitate getting his cigar to market and separating his manufacturing business from his retail business. Kurt, being technology-forward, quickly embraced using a cloud based server to store his sensitive business data. Kurt embraced web technology, taking advantage of cloud-based CRM software to both save money upfront and to keep his data safe. Unlike his retail business, which keeps all of its data on-site, Kurt could keep the cigar manufacturing business data in the cloud, where it can be accessed country-wide, thus making it as easy for a sales representative in California or Alabama to track his progress as Kurt can in the home office. Cloud based services have saved Kurt a great deal of money both in actual cost and in time and energy and moving forward. CRM software has led to a 27% increase in sales; this software has also saved countless dollars by increasing the efficiency of Kurt's salesmen. As the 7-20-4 brand grows, Kurt has plans in place to integrate more cloud and web based services in order to grow his companies.

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    West Palm Animal Clinic

    Michelle Durkee
    West Palm Beach, FL

    This is how our employees use technology.

    Ever since kindergarten I wanted to be a veterinarian. I love how pet owners love their pets and how we all work together to make them better.

    I am the sole owner of a 31 year old Animal Hospital. Unfortunately, we were backlogged and often left overwhelmed with no time to effectively communicate with clients before, during and after their visits.

    To enhance the customer experience, we chose to embrace technology, implement advancements and continually looking for new ways to improve their experience.

    Now we are state-of-the-art; fully integrated and paperless practice with engaged, informed customers.

    All diagnostics are completed efficiently and fast in-house saving clients time and money eliminating multiple visits.

    Client reminders, newsletters, thank-you and birthday cards automatically sent via email or text.

    Complete medical reports are now shared instantaneously with our clients on their own free website portal. Shared also electronically with any emergency facility or specialist needed.

    Clients are now educated using 3D anatomical animations, radio-graphs and home care videos in the treatment rooms.

    We have gotten feedback from pet owners and they are very pleased with the way we can run diagnostics while they're waiting, because of that, they want to improve the quality of their pet's care.

    We truly love animals, love helping them and love the pet owners of the animals. And now, with the help of technology that bond is strengthened, responsive medical care has improved and lives have been saved.

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Improved Customer Experience

  • 1Source

    Gregory McLeod
    Minneapolis, MN

    This is how our customers use technology.

    At 1Source we leverage technology in a disciplined, innovative manner to add significant value to relationships with our clients, prospective customers, suppliers and employees. As a growing, $8 million, 25-employee, B2B distributor of essential goods and services we use technology to excel in an incredibly-crowded field of 20,000+ competitors, including multi-billion dollar Staples and OfficeMax/Office Depot, among others. We provide clients with highly-competitive pricing on a wide array of products including Office Products, Furniture, Janitorial/Facility Supplies and Technology Products through facilities in Minneapolis and Memphis. The overwhelming majority of our clients use our robust B2B ordering platform and eCommerce tools to efficiently search for products, reduce costs, consolidate their vendor base, place orders, analyze ordering history and engage our company on a 24/7 basis. Our technological capabilities and network of manufacturers/wholesalers allow us to provide products to 95% of the U.S. population. Technology allows us to provide next-day delivery with industry-leading order accuracy and fill rates. We use video conferencing and webinars to make geography irrelevant to our internal and external customers, deploying talent and resources instantaneously when and where needed. We effectively leverage technology to level the playing field with our much-larger competitors. Technology allows our mid-market and Fortune 500 clients to enjoy the “Best of Both Worlds”, in that we offer them our responsive, flexible, customer-focused culture as well as world class technologies, outstanding product selection, competitive pricing and nationwide distribution capabilities.

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  • 9three Solutions

    Michael Lyons
    Morgantown, WV

    This is how our customers use technology.

    9three Solutions helps:

    Natural gas drillers locate their wells, and coal mine engineers keep track of those wells underground…

    ...Land owners participate in an energy boom, and energy companies keep track of it all.

    And we couldn't do it without Comcast Business Internet.

    The complex nature of well location proposal, approval, drilling, and plugging processes, requires a fast, well-structured, widely accessible, and secure information solution to provide accurate gas-drilling information throughout the industry. 9three uses Comcast Business internet to serve our customers in the energy sector with highly detailed, up-to-date information that increases the safety of mining and drilling operations and allows businesses to work better together.

    Comcast Business Internet allows 9three to increase the productivity of our customer companies at several operational levels. Attorneys use 9three to manage contracts involving land owners, gas drillers and coal operators. Coal operators use 9three to develop long-term mining plans that take account of existing and planned gas drilling.

    When we adopted Comcast Business Deluxe service, our own in-house staff, charged with handling large image files of scanned legal documents, permits and maps, saw their productivity increased by over 100% in certain business processes.

    Comcast Business Internet will continue to play an important role in support of 9three's vision where enterprise management solutions, supervisory control and data acquisition systems, and emerging high-tech solutions allow for more efficient exploration, safer development, and more profitable sale of our region's Marcellus Shale and Bituminous Coal energy resources.

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  • Asbury Arts Center/North FL Dance Ctr. Inc

    Jeanne Glogowski
    Green Cove Springs, FL

    This is how our customers use technology.

    I started my dance/arts center 9 years ago as the "technician" sharing my craft while trying to also be the marketing guru, manager, teacher and janitor. The first 2 years were over worked and very depressing, leading to a "down" staff and customer base. I was tech savvy, but my expertise was dance and music; NOT running a business. Instead of quitting, I reached out for help. In the last 7 years I have learned how to use technology to benefit my business customers and have grown from 55 ambivalent students to over 600 extremely happy members of Asbury Arts Center.

    Technology has been invaluable in the time wealth it has created for our customers/students. We use internet based software to keep all their information in real time. Our families have constant access to personal account portals, ongoing website updates, online registration and automatic tuition payments. We streamline communications for them through emails and text messaging. To keep our customers "in the loop" we also use social networking. Uploading student performances on Google/YouTube videos has been a big hit! We also use iPads and movement analysis apps to help dance, taekwondo, and tumbling students improve their performances. Our most recent "fun" technology use is gifting our students their own personal phone apps as an appreciation gesture.

    Every day is a new "techy" adventure for us as we love learning about the latest ways to make our customers time with us fun and stress free!

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  • Cairnedge Consulting

    Mark Bisaillon
    Palatine, IL

    This is how our customers use technology.

    Cairnedge Consulting is a marketing and technology consulting firm helping small to medium sized businesses leverage technology and the Internet to better manage and grow their business.

    Cairnedge was formalized as a business after several friends asked for help updating their business websites, computers, software and processes. We found businesses outsourcing various services to different vendors, but those vendors never talked to each other about the big picture.

    From a Marketing perspective, we ensure our clients have unfettered access to all the digital assets we create for them by employing a cloud-based storage and sharing service. This eliminates large email attachments, encourages collaboration and promotes peace of mind that their content is backed up securely in case of a failure on their side or ours. We have shortened review and production cycles by using the cloud storage as part of our process.

    For IT, Tech Support and Training, we use a cloud-based remote access service that allows us to connect to our client's computers to run diagnostics, fix problems, or walk their employees through a new process or piece of software. One client, with a number of remote offices, has seen a dramatic drop in support costs while at the same time experiencing more responsiveness than their prior support provider, who insisted on driving to each location. Billing for travel time.

    We are migrating most of clients to cloud-based storage, support, applications, hosting and worflows to drive collaboration while minimizing risk.

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  • Club Management Software LLC

    Kyle Bogner
    Littleton, CO

    This is how our customers use technology.

    Coachmore.com does not only use technology to help our customers, we rely on it. Club sports in America are generally unappreciated, devalued, and unprofitable. Enter Club Management Software LLC. We put useful technology into the hands of the people who need it most, allowing club teams and the people who run them, the ones who understand the processes best, to control the content of their websites in an intuitive and effective way.

    Unlike many companies that offer website services, we do not offer cookie cutter solutions where site names are a prefix or a suffix to a larger company's URL. Brochure-ware websites with content that is static are a "technology" of the past. In response, we have created a dynamic website solution not only to boost advertising for a club through SEO, but also to fully administrate that club at minimal cost to the club itself.

    We have put complex technical power in the hands of our customers allowing them easily send email to automatically generated distribution lists; conveniently edit content of any page of a website without help from a technical support expert; conveniently use secure reoccurring payment; and dynamically create multiple classes, at multiple locations, for multiple groups, with different coaches, all summarized by dynamically created rosters. The list goes on.

    We believe firmly that our technology can change the business models of club teams in America. We are transforming these clubs from businesses that just scrape by, to businesses that thrive.

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  • entreDonovan

    Linda Farquhar
    Wilmington, DE

    This is how our customers use technology.

    entreDonovan operates a boutique solving women's fit challenges by offering custom suits, pants, blouses, sweaters -- even custom shoes -- for female professionals. The custom process is intensely 1:1 and requires precise measuring, so we knew the best way to bring our solution to women broadly was to build technology in at every turn.

    How? When a client arrives for an appointment, we take a full set of measurements coupled with body scanning technology for a total picture. Before selecting garments, the client can opt for an e-style consultation -- a program that generates a comprehensive set of recommendations for her. Thus armed, she can confidently build her wardrobe knowing it will fit well and complement her unique shape. We assist with garment and fabric selection and use some forms automation to dispatch her orders to manufacturers worldwide. We can even help her develop custom shoes using an iPad app!

    Customer experience is enhanced across measuring, consultation, and customized product creation. You should see her happy smile!

    Proof points are visible in the woman with size 12 foot who's thrilled to find perfect-fitting shoes she loves for under $200. Or the plus-size attorney, frustrated with past wardrobe options, who can now project her image confidently.

    What's next? Improve body scanning results so we can eliminate manual measuring altogether and shorten the client's session by about 40 minutes. Automate front-end order forms to save time and errors. And host virtual fashion shows on our 3D in-store TVs...if only the content existed!

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  • Gassman Automotive

    Glinda Gassman
    Waynesboro, VA

    This is how our customers use technology.

    Technology has changed the way that our customers interact with our company, Gassman Automotive, through the use of our website, www.GassmanAutomotive.com. One of our employees created our new website, and keeps it updated almost daily, so that our customers and the rest of the world, can get an inside look into what and how Gassman Automotive keeps antique vehicles on the roads. Through videos, photos, and information updates, both customers and viewers alike, are able to watch the transformation of old, dated cars into beautiful pieces of art. Our restorations are thoroughly documented, and our services are put on display for the world. We even have an iPad in our office, with our mobile-optimized website, so customers have the ability to view our work on the spot. Technology keeps us innovative and has changed our shop into a glass box for the rest of the world to see into.

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  • Happy Monkey Hummus

    David McFate
    Salt Lake City, UT

    This is how our customers use technology.

    What started as two bartenders with a passion for food has turned into an automated whirlwind of glorious proportions. Erin and I own Happy Monkey Hummus. We began by simply making an existing product even better. Where the technology comes in is two fold. First, we had always handpacked our Organic, Non GMO Verified and Gluten Free Certified hummus in containers that needed to be produced and sold very quickly due to a short shelf life. We were lucky if we got 2 weeks out of our products. Fast forward to 2013. We brought a technology online that utilizes Modified Atmosphere Packaging or MAP. We can now bring organic "Clean" food to our consumers that lasts much longer than before. And second, the consumer gets a product that is free of any preservatives or chemicals that extend shelf life unnaturally. Now, those two bartenders have brought hummus mainstream and have done so with the assistance of a technology that is safe and doesn't in any way change the flavor, texture and overall experience of the consumer. We truly are hummus evolved and Happy Monkeys equal Happy Consumers. Enjoy!

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  • IKRON Corporation -Greater Seattle

    L.Monica Negrila
    Bellevue, WA

    This is how our customers use technology.

    IKRON Corporation -Greater Seattle is a non-profit organization that offers counseling and employment services to youth and adults with mental health problems, developmental disabilities, and physical limitations. We assist our customers with work readiness skills and we help them prepare for obtaining jobs in the community. While in services at IKRON, youth and adults learn to use technology to build self-confidence and become independent and ready for the world of work. Among the many success stories, a girl with missing fingers learned to use the computer and she now creates marketing slogans that help our organization. Our deaf customers communicate via videophones and teleconferencing, and conduct interviews with employers in the community. A trainee, who can't read or write, is now using voice recognition software and is able to keep a professional job, where she writes reports on a weekly basis. Many of our senior citizen customers, who never used a computer before, now create fliers and help with fundraising events. Our low vision customers use screen magnifiers and readers to assist them in becoming independent and active in the community. Technology IS transformative at IKRON. Here, technology transformation goes beyond improving quality of work, or accessing information faster, and easier. At IKRON, technology changes lives! It helps people become independent and self-sufficient. Technology brings people together in ways it never seemed possible before. It helps them lead more meaningful lives! From isolation to collaboration, technology helps our customers become successful contributors to society!

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  • IT Assurance

    Zachary Cramer
    Portland, OR

    This is how our customers use technology.

    A client recently approached us in a panic. Their server failed, and their IT Company told them it would cost $15,000 to replace it with a new server. In this economy, the client didn't have the money, but without the server they would go out of business! They came to us for a second opinion, and to see if we could save their business.

    We saw that by using a high speed internet connection from Comcast and some online tools, we could get the client back up and running without any major costs. We moved the client's email to Microsoft Office 365, which costs them only $20/month to have fully functional email services. Then we moved the client's shared files to Dropbox, which allows them to share files remotely with anyone, at any time. Finally, we set them up with an online CRM system from pipedrive.com. A very cost effective option for keeping track of sales leads and opportunities from any web browser.

    Thanks to the new Comcast High Speed internet circuit, and our quick thinking and quick action, we got the client back up and running quickly, and with 90% less cost than the "old" IT bid. The client is grateful, still in business, and Comcast has another customer for life.

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  • NuCres Corporation DBA Skates US, Inc.

    David Ripp
    Richmond, IN

    This is how our customers use technology.

    Since 2004, Skates US, Inc. is the exclusive U.S. Importer/Distributor for the world's three top Skate brands of competitive ICE and Roller Figure Skates: EDEA, Roll-Line, and ATLAS Skates, all from Italy. We provide the highest quality Skates, the most advanced technologies and customizations to the elite and the up-and-coming ICE and Roller athletes in the U.S. A pair of Skates start at $500, while most are $1,500 to $2,000. Sales and business technology needs are growing rapidly.

    The phone/e-mail time demands of customers calling for relatively similar information has led to the need to enhance our customer outreach for basic and advanced technical information. A second front is the internal need for communications, data, and interdepartmental information to support our growing customer base.

    Our end-user/customers and dealer experiences are enhanced with detailed educational product information. The Learning Center further educates customers so they can make wise choices. We have and are producing many skate technology videos and electronic slide shows to reach customers hungry for information.

    Starting with the U.S. Ice Figure Skating Championships in January 2014, then the Olympics in February, EDEA Skates have gained incredible national and international visibility. Web traffic has almost doubled and sales for the first quarter are up 53%.

    We are in the process of a major digital upgrade, installing a new Gb Network with 10Gb infrastructure, a Cisco 52 port switch, server, and Enterprise software to integrate all aspects of the business.

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  • Patty's Place Salon

    Patty Becker
    Pollock Pines, CA

    This is how our customers use technology.

    I was a bored retired hair stylist that came back and opened a salon that lets people pay what they can afford for hair services. WOW have I built a great clientele! The Comcast guys at the support center and the guys that have had to come out have been instrumental in the building of my business. I couldn't have handeled it any other way. To tell you how I feel about them is just to say I Love Them! The old fashion book could never have given me what I needed, such as what chemical I used last time on a client, (we call it a client record card) and mailings are so easy, used to be all by hand... I have Comcast at my home and at my business. Yes it costs but when you compare what it costs to go to a one time movie, out to dinner, etc., We save money in the long run.

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  • Spa La Paws

    Beth Haire
    Spring, TX

    This is how our customers use technology.

    I do pet styling, and it doesn't sound like a big deal when it comes to use of technology, right? I cut dog hair what could technology possibly do? It brings me new clients and almost doubles as a receptionist for me. It takes the hassle out of a strict day long deadline from answering phones that can put me way behind.

    I use a website to tell about my business, my work, my art, my passion. It gives clients a wealth of information about who I am, what I do, how I do it, and what sets apart from my competition. I use a link on my website and Facebook page to an online appointment booking system that allows my clients the convenience to book their appointments 24/7. It sends a notification to my phone for me to approve the appointment all hours of the day and on the days I'm closed so I never miss an appointment! It's like having a receptionist that never stops working!

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  • ThinkGlobal Inc.

    Greg Sandler
    Northampton, MA

    This is how our customers use technology.

    ThinkGlobal.com is a business-to-business trade leads platform designed to more efficiently and effectively facilitate online lead generation, global networking, and sales for small- and medium-sized companies worldwide.

    In order to enable customer access to live and on-demand video, virtual trade shows, social media, and real-time matchmatching, ThinkGlobal leverages "next generation" Internet technology, including high speed access for uploading and downloading; cloud storage for servers and backups; livecasting for streaming media; webcasting for online meetings; and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) for voice communications.

    ThinkGlobal's customers want increased sales efficiency without additional costs. By leveraging technology, ThinkGlobal.com helps its customers reduce the time and expense involved in lead generation, due diligence, marketing and sales support.

    Providing customers with easy access to information as well as the tools to upload their own content and interact with potential business partners requires a robust technology toolset, from web servers and cloud storage to email and phone communications. These tools facilitate a video-intensive service with reliable up-time, and the ability for our customers to communicate with us and each other.

    ThinkGlobal.com levels the playing field for small- and medium-sized companies by enabling them to leverage live streaming media, cloud computing, mobile web apps, and other advanced web technology to find qualified new partners.

    ThinkGlobal plans to leverage its robust and reliable Internet connection combined with the elasticity and scalability of cloud-based tools to continue expanding its online platform with more streaming video, live and on-demand webcasts, presentations, educational programs, online storefronts and virtual trade shows.

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  • Timmons Wealth Management

    Liam Timmons
    Attleboro, MA

    This is how our customers use technology.

    As a single employee investment advisor managing investment portfolios for a wide range of clients, effectively implementing cutting edge technology in my daily operations is a requirement, not an option. Having worked for a number of larger firms where employees were tied to their desktop computers, offices and mail rooms, I knew that I wanted to build a cloud based infrastructure that offered my clients real time information in a format that was cost effective and emphasized the personal touch my clients demand. Shifting away from printing, collating, weighing and mailing quarterly client packages, I implemented a portfolio management solution that enabled me to deliver real time client reports through a client web portal. This solution offered my busy clients a secure and easily accessible format to access personal information. Amazingly, I experienced a 100% adoption rate among my client base. From a cost perspective, I was able to save thousands of dollars a year in mailing costs while eliminating unintentional errors such as mailing the wrong reports to clients. Since my portfolio management system is in the cloud, I am able access client information whether I'm on the road, at a client meeting, or sitting at home in the evening. Being able to provide clients with real time balance information, discuss recent investments or current portfolio allocations means that I am always online and ready to serve my clients. In a competitive space, my technology provides the competitive edge to succeed.

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  • Unwind Yarn & Gifts

    Wendy Moynihan
    Savannah, GA

    This is how our customers use technology.

    Technology is a valuable sales tool, even for Grandma, in our yarn store, Unwind. We have an all in one computer station setup for customer use. They are able to view patterns online (along with projects made by others, using that pattern) and purchase digital copies of the patterns which are then emailed to them. If desired, the pattern can be printed in the store wirelessly. Our point of sale computer rings up the pattern sale at the register, along with any yarn, hook, and needle purchase, keeping our inventory up to date. Customers can access the yarn data base on Ravelry (a social networking site for knitters), where they can find information on most patterns and yarns. Ravelry also stores a customer's library, needle inventory, and project information. If a customer needs yarn quantities for a project in her Ravelry queue, she can access it from our computer and purchase yarn. If there is a technique or stitch that the customer needs help with, Youtube has a video, and usually a dozen different videos, that will answer that question. The customer can sit at the computer with their knitting in front of them and watch the video right in the store. This frees up our sales staff and something that would have taken 5 – 15 minutes of technical help is now being handled by our computer station. Knitting is an ancient art, but here at Unwind, we use the most modern technology available to enhance the customer's experience.

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